May 21, 2017

Greetings from the senior class president, Gretchen Barrett ’17

Gretchen Barrett ’17, president of the Class of 2017.

Welcome parents, family members, friends, faculty, staff, alumni, honored guests, and of course, the graduating Class of 2017.

In just a few minutes we will each walk across the stage and receive our diplomas. In essence, the diploma signifies the 120 credits we accomplished, the four semesters of Civ that we all struggled through, the many core requirements, and finally, the academic excellence that we all achieved.

But we know that there is so much more — experiences beyond what is represented by that simple piece of paper.

To us it is the sleepless nights spent in the best club on campus, Phil, also known as the library. The panicked phone calls to a friend asking if the paper is really due in four hours. It’s the group project that might have made you lose faith in all group projects. And it’s finally managing that A in your last semester of Civ entirely due to your participation in seminar. And yet, still, all these stories that we will take away do not revolve around our academic achievement, but the newfound family that we surrounded ourselves with.

From orientation, to Friar Ball, to becoming national champs, to this last week together, we have truly made the last four years incredible. We, as a group, have paved the way in so many ways for future Friars. Our era here has ended and today we sit for the last time, all together. Luckily, we all share the common bond that we’re Friars and we’re going to bring that in every single aspect of our future lives. Because these last four years have been really amazing, but the Friar family has given us the strength to head into the real world. Because next year it’s going to be really, really tough when a Thursday is just a Thursday and there is not a bash after every single late-night Sunday Mass.

But we all have to remember our other family. The ones that allowed us to experience Providence College and made this all possible for us. So thank you for all your support, each and every day, Mom and Dad, and everyone here around us that continues to support us, in each way imaginable.

And really, today I couldn’t find one story that is able to narrow down four full years’ worth of memories. So let me just say this. Each of you is heading off toward something really amazing, and I’m so grateful to be able to tell you in person that I really hope you get there.

Congratulations, Class of 2017!

Gretchen Barrett ’17 (Weymouth, Mass.), a finance major and accountancy minor, will work in the financial services industry in Boston.